I’ll have to offer some background info first.
Basically, the Czech public school system has what are called maturita exams for graduating students. They’re akin to A-level exams in the UK. However, each school has their own maturita exams that students can opt to take instead of the state exam.
I only do school maturita exams. I spent the last two days grading oral English maturita exams. It’s me and another teacher evaluating our students. For the most part, we were in agreement. However, we strongly disagreed on one student. If this happens, we go before a committee that evaluated it themselves and argue our case and the committee makes a decision. They all disagreed with me and gave the student a perfect score which she clearly didn’t deserve. If their words always trumps the teachers, then why do we bother giving any grade at all?
But fine, they disagreed with me. I can accept that. I’m not angry about a difference in opinion. Since I was the only person who disagreed, I wanted to know what the universal grading rubric was so this wouldn’t happen again. So, I asked if there was one that I could follow. They promptly dodged the topic and placed the blame on my school. I called bullshit and I asked the question again to pin them to the wall. They claim that they would email me their standards.
Of course, I expect to receive nothing from them because as far as I know, they don’t have anything. The lack of transparency among the committee means that there is no accountability when grades are given. Their grades could be completely arbitrary and there would be no consequences. The lack of a standardized grading system means that the test is completely unreliable and cannot be considered an accurate reflection of the student’s performance.
My suspicion is that the whole testing system is corrupted. Ultimately, it is the school that gives these exams and high scores make schools look good. The committee that supposedly overlooks these tests is mostly comprised of unelected figureheads that have no incentive to uncover cheating or corruption of any kind lest they upend the entire public school system in the process. So their is no accountability.
I’m also angry at myself. You’d think I would learn that everything is shit and nothing really matters when it comes to education. Yet, I’m still so goddamn naive. The way my colleagues were discussing it made it appear as though these tests were serious. The reality is that these things are essentially meaningless and I hate that I ever took them as anything other than a complete joke.